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WALK A MILE: Landmark TAFE NSW diploma course to help empower Aboriginal communities


WALK A MILE: Landmark TAFE NSW diploma course to help empower Aboriginal communities

NEW HORIZONS: A new Diploma in Aboriginal Studies for Professional and Community Development is being offered at TAFE NSW.

27 August, 2020 

A landmark diploma course aimed at empowering students to better understand the Aboriginal culture and enhance services for communities has been launched at TAFE NSW Young.

In a first for NSW, a Diploma in Aboriginal Studies for Professional and Community Development promises students a deeper insight into Aboriginal cultures, systems, and issues that they can then apply into a workplace, academic or community context.

TAFE NSW teacher and proud Darug woman Anissa Jones said the face-to-face and online course,  open to both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people across the state, would help students have a “foot in both worlds” and gain a greater understanding of the entrenched differences between black and white Australia.

“It’s about giving people a chance to improve their skill sets so they can work effectively in Aboriginal communities but also within communities in general,” Ms Jones said.

“Systems can be very different in Aboriginal communities and we talk a lot about ‘code-switching’, that ability to switch your brain and understand the system you are operating in.

“For Aboriginal people, this is all about helping them get the best result for their mob. To be able to walk in that other world and understand the different processes and issues can have a huge flow-on benefit for their communities.

“One day the students might be learning about how to write a grant and the next it might be how to approach a parent-teacher meeting.”

She said the two-year course included units in Aboriginal culture, e-learning skills and academic research and would also delve into important areas like grant submissions and NSW Government policies and procedures.

TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Career Pathways, Aboriginal Languages and Employability Skills Karen Ward said the course was developed in consultation with local Indigenous Elders, the NSW Aboriginal Lands Council and the NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group and aimed to respond to help “close the gap” between employment levels of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

“The course meets the growing demand from organisations for staff with the skills and knowledge required to implement Aboriginal programs, provide culturally appropriate services, develop and execute Aboriginal employment strategies and Reconciliation Action Plans, and to maintain their legislative, policy and corporate social responsibility obligations,” Ms Ward said.

To find out more about studying at TAFE NSW, phone 13 16 01 or visit

Media contact: Daniel Johns, TAFE NSW Media and Communications – Business Partner, 6938 1441, mobile 0477 722 428.